With 250,000 copies in bookstores, the publication of volume 100 of the series One Piece Wednesday is the biggest launch ever seen in the manga in France, according to publisher Glénat. Glénat has published since 2000 the series signed Eiichiro Oda, started in 1997 by the then a promising young designer, now at 46 years of age a legend of his art.
The industry behind him is now a well-oiled machine. In its original version, in Japan, this volume 100 was published in early September. And adaptation for the small screen should follow quickly. “250,000 is the draw for a Goncourt prize”Glénat manga editor Benoît Huot told AFP.
But the comparison stops there: it is about a series, the price is lower (6.90 euros, 10.75 euros for the collector’s edition), and the readership very young. Moreover, this quarter of a million copies is little compared to the 490 million sold, all volumes and all languages combined, for nearly twenty-five years.
One Piece tells the story of pirates in search of fabulous treasure, and of a character who wants to become king of the pirates, Luffy, dressed in his famous straw hat. The originality of the scenario, the mystery of the characters, the subtle mix of humor, fights, emotions and flashbacks ensured a worldwide success.
“The craze has grown over the course of the series. Between volumes 12 and 23 a narrative arc was set up, the ‘Alabasta’ saga, which has fascinated more and more readers in France. . Then came a succession of events that brought the series to be famous, including especially, in 2008, the beginning of the broadcast of the animated on TNT “ (digital terrestrial television), remembers Benoît Huot.
Eiichiro Oda has not finished telling this story, although he cannot himself say how many more books he will be releasing before he sets the final point. “We are in the last part, which he announced he was eager to draw. The story is progressing rapidly, with an author who renews himself systematically. It will be twenty-five years in 2022 that he is a classic being written before our eyes. It’s lucky, because the classics we tend to discover at school, completed once and for all “, according to the publisher.